Yesterday evening we were treated to a rare treat – live music in an intimate (and really good-sounding) setting. The Zentripetal Duo, violinist Lynn Bechtold & cellist Jennifer DeVore, performed three pieces for the Monkeyhaus gang- C17H21NO4 by Gene Pritsker (thankfully no one knew what the title referenced), Astor Piazzolla’s “Violetas Populares”, and finally a piece composed by Monkeyhaus regular Dan Cooper titled Design Duo. I found the performance thrilling, moving (each piece in its own way – e.g. Dan Cooper’s piece literally put me on a path through a lush field and forest) and fun. Musically delicious.
Afterward we listened to records and the theme or rule if you prefer for this portion of the evening was “Covers Only”. Cover versions can be pure fun in their simultaneous difference and reference and some of my personal highlights included Bauhaus’ stupendous version of “Ziggy Stardust” and a smashing pair of Gloria’s one each from Patti Smith and Jimi Hendrix. I’ve said this before but its worth covering again – you want this record (both actually).
And I feel compelled to point out the excruciatingly obvious which is that live music sounds like live music and recorded music sounds like recorded music so why fret. Another thing about live music is you, we the listeners, are not in control. Anything can happen and there’s no volume control. And that’s a beautiful thing. And my feeling is musicians play for the room (I mean that in every way) – the human version of DSP is so far advanced from the poorer and infinitely simpler software-in-a-box (the former is actively emotive for one) its not even funny. Records on the other hand put our musical world at your cartridge-tip which is equally grand. Life with music live and on record is good.
A big thank you to our host, Mr. ‘Haus and the Zentripetal Duo for reminding us that music made in the moment is a precious thing to capture fleetingly.